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Cash before chemo: Hospitals get tough

Wall Street Journal (subscription required), April 28, 2008
To improve their finances, many hospitals are adopting a policy that makes medical care contingent on upfront payments. Providers are pointing to their burgeoning bad-debt and charity-care costs as reasons for the change. Hospitals also have turned to the practice because of a spike in patients who don't pay their bills: Uncompensated care cost the hospital industry $31.2 billion in 2006, up 44% from $21.6 billion in 2000.